Rooted in Christ, we are growing in faith to bear fruit in the world
Who are we – and what we are all about
We are people who follow Jesus. First Lutheran Church is made up of many diverse people, all of whom are people whose lives have been touched by the love of God in Jesus Christ. Because our lives have been enriched by God’s love, we seek to worship God, love and support one another, grow in faith and become more like Christ in the way we live, help people in need, and share the Good News of God’s redeeming love with others.
We believe that truth is shared
We value our common Christian beliefs. The Lutheran church stands within the mainstream of Christian faith and makes no claim to have some revelation or truth denied to other Christians. We share with other Christians traditional statements of faith such as the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. These creeds, together with the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sacraments form the core of our beliefs. The truth we value the most is that God loves us and accepts us because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. We want you to know that God loves and accepts you, too!
We believe that God is not silent
Lutherans put special emphasis on the Word of God. From the very beginning, God has communicated with people. God spoke and the heavens and earth were created. God spoke to Abraham and his descendants through events in their history and through inspired prophets. God’s clearest communication is through Jesus who lived in Palestine in the first century. This message can be summarized in one sentence: God loves us more than anything else in the universe, enough to come in person and die for us!
We believe that we have failed God
We are commanded to love, obey, and serve God, and to love and serve our neighbors. When we seriously try to do this we discover that we cannot live up to this command as fully and completely as we should. It is not because we do not try hard enough. We fail because we are sin-full (which means that our basic nature is focused on ourselves and not on God). In short, we are not perfect, and we know it.
We believe that God creates a new relationship with us
The good news is that because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God forgives us and accepts us in spite of our failings. We do not need to earn, deserve, or win God’s love – God simply gives it to us. God invites us to accept this gift, to follow Jesus, to have faith, andto live a new life. God extends this same invitation to you!
We believe that God still speaks
Today God continues to speak to people today through Scripture and the Sacraments. That’s we value coming together for worship. Through the Bible readings, the prayers, and the liturgy we hear God’s message and are drawn close to God. Baptism and Communion are two special ways God’s love touches our lives. In these ways God’ Spirit is at work creating a new relationship with us and empowering us to live as disciples of Jesus.
We believe that we have a mission
God has a plan for our lives. This doesn’t mean that our lives are all mapped out. It does mean that God wants us to live the way Jesus taught. We try to do this, not in order to win God’s favor or get some advantage for ourselves. We try to live this way because we are thankful for all that God has done for us.
The way God wants us to live (sometimes we talk about this as the purpose of our lives) can be summarized in five statements.
- We love and adore God (worship)
- We grow as disciples of Jesus (education)
- We love and care for one another (fellowship)
- We use our gifts and abilities in ministry to others (service)
- We share the good news of Jesus with others (evangelism)